Radharani’s Manjaris: Tattva & Lilas 022

Mahanidhi Madan Gopal Das

This series of posts will present facts (tattva) regarding the identity, moods (gopi-bhava), intimacy and sevas of Srimati Radharani’s beautiful and talented handmaidens known as manjaris, kinkaris, or dasis.

Also we will present many astonishing and wonderful lilas to highlight the manjaris most personal and confidential sevas to Srimati Radhika and Her dearest Priyatama Shyamasundara.

The information here is based on the commentaries of Advaitavamsa Acharya 108 Sri Ananda Gopala Goswami and 108 Sri Ananta Dasa Babaji Maharaja taken from “Vilapa Kusumanjali” and “Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi” translated by Sri Advaita Dasji.

Manjari Lila: Radha Rewards Her Manjari

Sri Rupa Manjari has arranged for Radha-Krishna to meet in a kunja, so They want to reward her. Shyam holds Radha’s face and pushes His chewed betel leaves into Radha’s mouth.

Radha then makes a disgusted look as if to say: “Yek! Do I have to chew the remnants of this debauchee, whose mouth kisses so many other girls?”

Glancing toward Sri Rupa Manjari, Radha then spits the chewed betel leaves out on a plate. In this way, the maidservants are also blessed with Radha’s chewed food or spice remnants! How merciful Radha is!

“O Premamayi, Karunamayi Radhe! When will I be blessed by attaining a drop of Your mercy? I’m sitting here in Your Priya Radha Kunda, constantly waiting for the blessed day that I will get Your mercy!”

The practicing devotee should also become greedy for Radharani’s indescribable prasada. With such transcendental greed the devotee should enter the path of raganuga bhakti.

Absorbed in manjari bhava, Sarasvatipada prays:

sri –radhaya -madhura -madhurocchishta -piyusha –saram,
bhojam -bhojam -nava -nava –rasananda -magnah -kada -syam

“When will I be submerged in ever-new blissful rasa by repeatedly chewing the sweeter than sweet remnants of Sri Radha which are the essence of nectar?” (Radha Rasa Sudhanidhi 87)

How great are Radha’s feelings of mine-ness! The kinkaris want nothing else and know nothing else in this world but Sri Radhika’s lotus feet and Radha’s happiness. That’s why Radha is so merciful to them!

Tulasi-manjari has given her heart to Sri Radha. How much love and affection there is between them. The practicing devotee should also relish Swamini’s loving compassion when one remembers these transcendental pastimes. Remembrance of Radharani is most blissful.

Everything in this world is giving trouble and pain. So the devotee anxiously prays, “O Radhika! Don’t keep me in this material world anymore! Make me a maidservant of Your lotus feet! How long will I have to stay in this world while I’m winding up my material existence?”

Manjari Tattva: Intensity in Smarana

In the morning, Sri Radha walks to Nandagram along with Her sakhi manjaris. When Srimati becomes tired on the way Radha holds Her arm on Sri Rupa Manjari’s shoulder. The practicing devotee should think of oneself walking behind Radhika also, always worrying about Radha’s welfare and comfort.

We want to be always near our Swamini Sri Radha. Smarana means mental association. Smarana can only take place in the heart and mind of one who is free from the faults of attachment, hatred and so on.

When smarana becomes very intense this mental association becomes an actual experience. Sripada Ramanujacharya teaches: “When smarana deepens all other thoughts subside and the attention becomes one-pointed, which will result in actual experiences.” Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “By constant meditation, Krishna becomes manifest in the heart. (Caitanya Caritamrta 2.19.235)

When we hear and chant the holy words of the acharyas we experience nearness with Radha Govinda Yugala. Sri Krishna becomes happy when devotees relish the sweetness of each and every item of bhajan. 

Radharani’s manjaris ki jai! Jai Jai Sri Radhe!

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